Etosha National Park in the rainy season

Rob and I celebrated our wedding anniversary this year by visiting the Etosha National Park in Namibia.  February isn’t the best time of the year to visit the park as it’s right in the middle of the rainy season and the grass is very long.  With all the water around the animals don’t come down to the waterholes to drink and you really have to go and hunt for them on game drives.  Fortunately not seeing animals didn’t phase us too much as the birdlife was outstanding and we made the most of photographing many summer migrants, like this gorgeous European bee-eater.

    European bee-eater

With an abundance of water comes the celebration of life.  Etosha was no exception and we saw many herds of antelope with babies – the strikingly beautiful Gemsbok are our favourites and are always exciting to spot.  Their young ones are easy to identify as they still have their brown baby coats.

    A group of Gemsbok

This mother and baby Black-faced impala hadn’t quite made up their minds about which way they were headed.

    Mother and baby - Black-faced impala

A Black-shoudered kite really stood out quite dramatically with the backdrop of dark rain clouds.  Rob will shortly be doing a blog about a fantastic sighting of a B.S. Kite eating a lizard.   His photos of this meal are magnificent.

Black-shouldered kite

It’s a good idea to check the ground occasionally or you could run over little creatures like this jaunty Namaqua chameleon that was also enjoying the water.

    Jaunty Namaqua chameleon

Not all the birds are pretty.  In stark contrast to the beautiful European bee-eater above, we also saw a not-so-pretty Maribou stork wading in some water next to the road.  Doesn’t he look like he’s wearing a waistcoast?

    Marabou stork - dressed to kill!

A visit to Etosha always offers up good sightings of the Northern black korhaan.  These little fellows are everywhere and are very vocal, especially when disturbed.

    Northern black-korhaan

Even though we didn’t see any of the more exciting animals like lions, elephants and leopards this trip, we so enjoyed spending time out in nature, just enjoying the birds and the thrill of seeing new life and lush vegetation.  What a magnificent way to spend a weekend!

 

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